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The almighty ESXi home server PROJECT OVERKILL!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've been in the computer industry for a long time now, and due to my job I pretty much require a powerful server to test various things on. So what better way to do that, than to make my very own, very fast home server with VMWare ESXi Hypervisor smile.gif

This server does actually a fair amount of work. With ESXi as the host system, I have several VM's which are all doing different things.

Windows 2008 R2 Server to store backups of user data and for general Windows server duties, mostly file sharing but it also runs my torrents in the background etc.
CENTOS Linux runs webserver for testing and web development.
FreeNAS for storage of Movies/TV Shows/Music that my entire home can access
FreeNAS yes another one, this one is mainly for testing purposes
Several variants of Windows including XP, 7, 8 these are all used as testbenches.

It also gives me the flexibility to quickly setup a test server of any operating system as proof of concept before rolling it out for a customer, etc.

Budget was semi-limited when first built but current specs are below...

ASUS P5B-Deluxe WiFi/AP
Intel Core2Quad Q6600
8GB DDR2-800 Memory (4x 2GB)
nVidia GeForce 8400GS
TP-Link Gigabit 10/100/1000 PCI Card
LSI SATA/SAS RAID Controller PCI-Express 4x
Broadcom 10/100/1000 PCI-Express 1x Card
Intel Dual PRO1000 10/100/1000 PCI Card

320GB Seagate Barracuda 7200 for testing VM's
2x 500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue in a Mirror RAID (LSI Controller) for the Main 2008 R2 Server
2x 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200's for storage of Movies
750GB Western Digital Caviar Green for TV shows/Music

All housed in an Antec P280

P280_02.jpg

Please excuse the terrible phone pictures, but did not have my camera charged at the time, lol.

IMG_20120302_165512.jpg

IMG_20120302_165447.jpg

Now it's time to upgrade!

Due to building my new rig see log here. I'll have some spare parts which will go into the server and provide a huge upgrade over the old system.

ASUS P7P55D-E PRO LGA1156
Intel Core i5 760 @ 4.17 ghz
16gb (4x 4GB) DDR3 RAM (have not decided on what RAM yet, but probably just cheap 1300mhz stuff as ESXi wont benefit much from more expensive 1600mhz.

I will be changing the configuration of the drives as well.

500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue for testing VM's
2x 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200's in a Mirror RAID (LSI Controller) for the Main 2008 R2 Server
2TB Western Digital Caviar Green for storage of Movies
750GB Western Digital Caviar Green for TV shows/Music

Will update with pics as they come! smile.gif
2012 COMPY!
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 3570K Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H 2x Sapphire AMD Radeon 6870 1gb Kingston HyperX 8GB 1600mhz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
2x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB in RAID 0 OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD (SYSTEM DRIVE) ADATA 30GB MSATA (Intel Rapid Storage Cache dri... LG DVD Writer 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair Water Cooler H50 Windows 8 PRO 24" AOC IPS LED Logitech G110 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair TX-650 Lancool Dragonlord PC-K62B Logitech MX1100 A cheap one. 
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2012 COMPY!
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 3570K Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H 2x Sapphire AMD Radeon 6870 1gb Kingston HyperX 8GB 1600mhz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
2x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB in RAID 0 OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD (SYSTEM DRIVE) ADATA 30GB MSATA (Intel Rapid Storage Cache dri... LG DVD Writer 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair Water Cooler H50 Windows 8 PRO 24" AOC IPS LED Logitech G110 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair TX-650 Lancool Dragonlord PC-K62B Logitech MX1100 A cheap one. 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 5
Sweet rig biggrin.gif
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Progress biggrin.gif

Testing the new system
IMG_20120511_094814.jpg
2012 COMPY!
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 3570K Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H 2x Sapphire AMD Radeon 6870 1gb Kingston HyperX 8GB 1600mhz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
2x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB in RAID 0 OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD (SYSTEM DRIVE) ADATA 30GB MSATA (Intel Rapid Storage Cache dri... LG DVD Writer 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair Water Cooler H50 Windows 8 PRO 24" AOC IPS LED Logitech G110 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair TX-650 Lancool Dragonlord PC-K62B Logitech MX1100 A cheap one. 
  hide details  
Reply
2012 COMPY!
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 3570K Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H 2x Sapphire AMD Radeon 6870 1gb Kingston HyperX 8GB 1600mhz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
2x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB in RAID 0 OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD (SYSTEM DRIVE) ADATA 30GB MSATA (Intel Rapid Storage Cache dri... LG DVD Writer 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair Water Cooler H50 Windows 8 PRO 24" AOC IPS LED Logitech G110 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair TX-650 Lancool Dragonlord PC-K62B Logitech MX1100 A cheap one. 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 5
Please keep the particulars coming. I am an advanced PC user (the extent of my bragging rights are the set-up of VMWare on a new machine to recover the data from an old hard drive on a failed machine). However, I am a novice server manager/administrator.

I have been searching the net for a home server project to duplicate to simplify the logistics of purchase and setup. You know, like the hot rod projects you can find in magazines. Not much out there and yours is about the closest.

I am needing both the media server functions you provide with FreeNAD and the ability to serve applications to netbooks, android based tablets, or netbooks.

I would appreciate more particulars on the software installation and set-up. I am presently looking at a hardware box rather than setting up my own (looking at the Iomega ix4-300d or the Iomega px4-300d). Specssay they support NAD but not FreeNAD. Specs also say they support ESX but not ESXi (some of their more expensive models do support ESXi so I wondering what the difference??)
post #5 of 5
Been doing more internet research and have found that general consensus is that: 1) a Linux based (e.g. Ubuntu) server can do it all so there is no need to have Windows Server 2008 installed, and 2) Virtualbox running on Ubuntu can serve Windows functions to users on the network; 3) Media streaming can be accomplished by Ubuntu applications like XBMC Media Centre or Plex Media Server.

Zombo, if you had to do it again, would you go again with ESXi and FreeNAS (or NAS4Free) or with a Ubuntu only server?
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